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EPA Celebrates World Water Monitoring Day on October 18

Release Date: 10/17/2003
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Contact: Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824/

(10/17/03) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Marianne Horinko today celebrated the first World Water Monitoring Day with local high school students on an excursion on the Chesapeake Bay and Rhode River in Maryland. As part of EPA’s national commitment to monitor water quality, Acting Administrator Horinko is sampling the waters in and around the Bay. Joining EPA officials were Roberta Savage, the President of America’s Clean Water Foundation; David Evans, the Smithsonian Undersecretary for Science; Ross Simons, the Director of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and local high school students.

“Understanding the quality of our water resources gives us the necessary underpinning for all our protective programs. It tells us what’s happening to water quality, what’s going wrong, and it helps us pinpoint the causes so we can do something about it. I cannot overestimate the importance of water monitoring,” said EPA Acting Administrator Marianne Horinko.

“We’ve made terrific progress in reducing pollution in rivers, lakes, wetlands, estuaries and coasts, yet we still lack all the facts to paint a comprehensive water quality picture.” If we have watershed-wide monitoring data, we can determine how best to allocate our necessarily limited resources for cleanup, pollution prevention and ecosystem restoration. The more we know about water pollution, the more we can protect our valued water resources,” said G. Tracy Mehan, III, Assistant Administrator for Water in southern Louisiana where he also was commemorating World Water Monitoring Day by doing water sampling activities at the Caernarvon Freshwater Diversion Project.

Historically, monitoring emphasis has been based on end-of-the-pipe to determine compliance with discharge permits. EPA is encouraging the use of new tools such as statistically-based surveys and remote sensing, improving data management and building strong partnerships with groups and agencies who monitor water quality and use the data. October 18 is also the 31st anniversary of the signing of the Clean Water Act, and today’s significance is the culmination of activities celebrating Monitoring Month in the Year of Clean Water.

For more information about World Water Monitoring Day, go to: or
For more information, go to EPA’s monitoring website at: